Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Grapefruit Moon by Southside Johnny

Grapefruit Moon cover art

Artist: Southside Johnny
Title: Grapefruit Moon
Catalogue Number: Evangeline ELM4200
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008

Southside Johnny gives up New Jersey and moves to Vegas and starts working the casinos with a big band. Odd as it might sound, that's the impression gained from his album Grapefruit Moon.

Gathering together a bunch of Tom Waits' songs is a smart move and one that has been successful in the past for others - Holly Cole's exquisite Temptation album comes to mind. Unfortunately, this is less of a success than the aforementioned album. It's very mainstream and probably appropriate to his ageing audience but his gravelly vocals seem out of place in pina colada territory. The arrangements never really rise above perfunctory and the inclusion of a John Barry "tribute" (parody might have been a better description), "All the Time in the World", verged on the embarrassing. There is always humanity in Tom Wait's lyrics but here they get drowned in sentiment and overblown arrangements. "New Coat of Paint" does manage to hold it head up but "Shiver Me Timbers" is more like karaoke. It does seem that the choice of songs was made to gain credibility rather than because they were actually suitable.

An old saying comes to mind - "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing". There's the problem. Southside Johnny has a big band but there's just ain't no swing. Safer than a Volvo. About as exciting as a Volvo. You get the picture.
Review Date: October 26 2008